Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Joey's first day

Joey's first night here went SO well last night. He slept on my bed the entire night, didn't make a peep, and didn't have to go out to pee or anything. I was expecting it to be a rough night, but he was an angel.

I thought it was so interesting to read the comments on yesterday's post about black dogs. I had no idea that black dogs are generally considered undesirable. My brother's dog, Bailey, is a black lab, and she is gorgeous! When we told Eli we were thinking about getting a dog, his only request was that the dog was black. When we picked Joey, it had nothing to do with his looks, but lucky for Eli, he happened to be black ;)  Anyway, I just thought it was interesting that black dogs are harder to adopt out.

The kids had school today, so after they left, I wanted to go to the rec center and get in a deep water run. It was sad leaving Joey, because he saw me getting my coat and shoes on, and he got excited like he was going somewhere. When I got to the rec, I did my favorite 8 x 2:30 interval run in the pool. The tether that I made works perfectly! I love that it holds me in place in the water so that I don't have to "run" laps. It's easier to just let my mind wander while I run in place. It'll be even better once the waterproof iPod arrives!

When I got out of the pool, I realized I forgot to bring my towel. So after rinsing off under the shower, I had to just peel off my sopping wet bathing suit and dress in clothes while I was still wet. Not fun! I guarantee I won't ever forget my towel again ;)

When I got home, Joey was super excited to see me. He was very well-behaved while I was gone--nothing was chewed, or peed on, or anything like that. I ate a quick breakfast and then took him to a low-cost vaccination clinic to get his first round of vaccines. There was a list of clinics at the shelter yesterday, and I grabbed the list on my way out; and there happened to be a clinic going on today, so it worked out perfectly.

It was at a pet supplies store, and there were several people in line when we got there. Joey was dying to play with the other dogs, I could tell. He was tested for heart worm (negative), and given his vaccines. Now we just have to make an appointment to have him neutered.  When we got home, I ate a quick lunch and then decided to take Joey for a walk to my parents' house. My parents have a large fenced-in yard, so I figured Joey could play in the snow over there.

He LOVED IT. I was cracking up watching him run all over the yard, prancing through the snow. He found a stick and brought it to me, so I played fetch with him for the longest time. He was so funny carrying it around.


We walked back to my house, and it was snowing really hard by that time. I could barely keep my eyes open because the snow was so heavy.

Joey was totally exhausted the rest of the day. He'd walked to and from Noah's bus stop, to and from Eli's bus stop (which totals one mile); to and from my parents' house (2 miles total); and he'd run like crazy all over my parents' yard for an hour.

My next-door neighbor asked if she could come over to bring Joey a treat, and I said sure. I was curious how he would react to someone knocking on the door. He barely moved a muscle when she got here. He accepted her treat, and the promptly just laid on the couch and slept. I don't know if it was the vaccinations or all the exercise, but he is one tired doggy tonight.

I was thrilled to see that I got over 10,000 steps in today, too. I don't think I've done that in about a month (ever since I injured my ankle and had to stop running). Joey is not great on a leash (he pulls), so I'm hoping to work with him on that. My arms are tired! But if that's the only fault he really has, I can certainly manage.

My friend Bonnie sent me a birthday gift which arrived today... wine from a vineyard in Virginia, and one of the bottles is called The Black Dog. Ironic! (When she ordered these, she had no idea that I was even considering getting a dog).


I can't wait to have a glass tonight!

43 comments:

  1. My dog is really bad at pulling on the leash. The best thing I've found is a harness that hooks in the front. This way when he pulls it forces him to turn around and face me. It makes our walks much more enjoyable! Glad to see your new pup is adjusting so well!

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    1. My neighbors have a harness that they said I could use, so I think I'll give that a try!

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  2. So happy that you chose to adopt a dog instead of buying one, and glad that all is going well. Please keep updating about his progress!

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    1. Yes, ever since we took in stray cats, I will never buy an animal. There are so many great animals without homes! It's so heartbreaking to see them in the shelter. And I love that he's pretty much already trained :)

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  3. Check this out for Joey's pulling issue : http://www.petco.com/product/8197/PetSafe-Products-Black-Gentle-Leader-Headcollars.aspx?CoreCat=certona-_-ProductDetail_2-_-PetSafe%20Products%20Black%20Gentle%20Leader%20Headcollars-8197

    My boyfriend uses it with his dog and it works super well. It's not a muzzle or anything.. they can still open their mouths. It just cinches around their nose when they pull so it makes them leave slack in the leash and be great walkers!

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    1. I just bought the Gentle Leader yesterday! We used it on a dog several years ago, and it was great. Joey, however, hates it--when I put it on him, he refuses to walk, and starts pawing at his head to pull it off. I'm going to keep trying, though!

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    2. Do keep trying with the gentle leader. Our chow/shepherd/dane mix took a bit to get used to it, but she is now an angel on the gentle leader. maybe try offering a special treat that he only gets when he wears it?

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    3. Do keep trying with the gentle leader. Our chow/shepherd/dane mix took a bit to get used to it, but she is now an angel on the gentle leader. maybe try offering a special treat that he only gets when he wears it?

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  4. The only thing that worked with my dog was a prong collar. I tried a no-pull harness and a weighted backpack (to give him a job) and neither fully worked. Here's a video from Solid K-9 Training: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nf0bA9sudM

    They're better than the traditional "choker" collars that focus on the trachea because the prong distributes the pressure to the whole neck.

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    1. My neighbors use a prong collar with their dog, and they swear by it, too!

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  5. Katie-get a harness! I just got one for my four year old Great Dane! I have no idea why I waited so long. Walking her is so much more enjoyable with the harness. Her leash hooks in the front at her chest.
    Have fun with Joey. :)

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    1. I'm going to give that a try! Joey hates the Gentle Leader I bought, so a harness is next... :)

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  6. I'm excited for you and your new family member ( and can't believe your cats aren't freakin'!). I have 2 dogs and when I walk them for exercise I use 16 ft flexi- leashes. They can run ahead, stop to sniff, and then catch up and I don't have to break pace much. I also highly recommended an inexpensive basic class to teach them commands. Good luck, dogs are great motivators!

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    1. Yes, I definitely plan to take him to a class--even if only for the socialization. He's super smart, so I think he'll learn quickly!

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  7. Actually, black cats are even harder to adopt out, because of the superstitions surrounding them (I volunteered at a shelter for a while). Sounds like the new dog is a great fit for you guys!!

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    1. I love black cats! When we were throwing around the idea of adopting another cat (as opposed to a dog), I most likely would have chosen a black cat (because they are the least likely to be adopted).

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    2. The shelter in my community adopts out cats for 1/2 the price because people are so superstitious

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  8. Sounds like you got a winner in Joey! What a great dog. Makes my heart happy to read how well he is doing with you. How old is he, and is he purebred Lab? Because in one of the pictures. I see his big fuzzy tail curling up over his back and he reminds me of Nero, a Cocker Spaniel/Spitz mix we had when I was growing up. He was black too and a great, great dog. So happy Joey found his forever home with you!

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    1. Never mind my questions about Joey. I re-read yesterday's blog and discovered what I had forgotten. Joey is a Black Lab/Chow mix about a year old. The Chow part probably accounts for the tail curling over his back. So cute! He is PERFECT!

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  9. Oh man. Yes I always forget how black dogs and cats are generally less adoptable. I don't get that. I don't judge by color though. So it didn't even occur to me. Joey is very lucky! Does he know his new name yet? :)

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    1. He does! He comes when we call him. He's learning very quickly!

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  10. What a sweet boy!! I grew up with black labs and currently have 2 black Great Danes and they have all been wonderful furbabies! Like several people have mentioned, the Gentle Leader works wonders for pulling. I got it for my first Great Dane because he used to pull and now he is the best walker! He just stays right beside me and the leash just hangs! Joey seems like he is fitting perfectly with your family!

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    1. I tried the Gentle Leader on him yesterday, and he just didn't like it. He kept pawing at it until he pulled it off! The Gentle Leader works wonderfully on my brother's dog, so I wish that Joey would tolerate it. I'll give it another try today :)

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  11. I knew black cats had a hard time beating the bad rap but I had no idea about black dogs either......you seem to have gotten the perfect dog and it is making it so hard for me to remember I do not have the time to commit to a dog.....but OMG he is amazing.

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    1. LOL, I was actually expecting him to be SO much more work than he is--he's been a dream dog so far!

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  12. I HATE the look my dog gives me when I leave. So sad! I'm so glad Joey is a perfect fit for your family! That's awesome!

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    1. Yeah, leaving was hard! But when I got home, he was SO excited :)

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    2. My guys go ape when I come back into the house after putting out the garbage. You'd swear I'd been gone a month.

      I can't even wrap my head around the idea that people would reject an animal because it's black. That is so incredibly ignorant I don't know what to say. Except that I hope they're reincarnated as a black cat.

      So very pleased you and the boy have bonded like superglue! One thing, though, about the stick throwing. A vet on the radio here recently was saying that thrown sticks was one of the biggest causes of catastrophic injury in dogs. If the stick are thrown up high the dogs end up getting impaled as they try and catch them on the way down. If you're going to throw a stick you need to do it horizontally, not vertically. Just fyi.

      Karen in Sydney

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  13. So glad Joey is working out well! Did the shelter give you any info on his past? He seems like he must have come from a decent home that did some training since he behaves in the house and even brought a stick to play fetch with.

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    1. They really didn't know anything about his past, unfortunately. He was picked up as a stray, and nobody ever claimed him. So sad, because he's such a great dog!

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  14. I have been following your blog for years, but am happy to see you have stumbled upon some Virginia wine! I went to Virginia Tech which is just up the road from Chateau Morrisette and I think you will enjoy their wine! Us Virginians have a vast selection of good wine! Also as a dog lover, I am happy to see you have welcomed a dog into your family of fur babies! Keep up the good work :)

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    1. I tried The Black Dog last night, and it was SO yummy! I'd love to go visit Bonnie one day, and she promised to take me to Chateau Morrisette :)

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  15. You picked a cutie pie! We use the gentle lead with our dog and she's an angel on the leash. It's so much easier to walk without all the pulling.

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    1. I hope I can find a good solution like that! It would be so much more enjoyable to walk without all the pulling. He did a little better today, but I had to wear my shoes with spikes on them so I didn't slide around on the ice ;)

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  16. Congrats on your newest family member! My pup (also a rescue) is my favorite running partner- when she's on her Gentle Lead. If you go to PetSmart or PetCo (or both!) and bring your adoption paperwork, the stores should give you a folder full of coupons and discounts for adopting a pup. There's usually a general % off any items purchased in the store, which will help defray some of the cost of whatever leash attachment you decide to use. Happy trails, and congrats again on the pup!!

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    1. Oh wow! I wish I knew that before I spent $200 at PetSmart on the way home from the shelter! ;)

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  17. I've had several blacks dogs and loved them all!

    I had the same issue with my little dog pulling in the leash. After working with her for a while I ended up getting a retractable leash. It works great! She likes to be out in front if me so she can do her sniffing around and then run to catch up. I don't have any problems with her now.

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    1. My sister loves the retractable leashes, so that may be a good solution for Joey as well.

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  18. Go with the pinch collar all the way! Our dog HATED the gentle leader, but the pinch collar works wonders, and now we can walk him without it for short distances. It's a great training tool!

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  19. I second the suggestions for the easy-walk harness that attaches in the front. My dog has always been a huge puller, and while it doesn't eliminate pulling completely, he's much better behaved on walks, and even when he sees a critter he really wants to chase he has a hard time dragging me around :-)

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  20. Wow, I'm still so impressed by how well behaved he is. Makes me wonder if he had good owners before that just couldn't afford to keep him or what. Just a note (b/c I've never had cats) the vaccine site can sometimes swell and seem like a lump for up to a week or so. That happened the last time I took my dog and my brother freaked out and wouldn't believe me that he was fine until I called the vet :) Playing fetch is a FANTASTIC way to exhaust a dog. A tired dog is a well behaved one, for sure. So glad you guys got him!! Just working with him may get him used to a leash; I'd try a normal one for awhile and if he doesn't learn to heel, then move on to the leaders.

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  21. A tired puppy is a happy puppy! Congrats on the new addition! Please get him micro-chipped in case he gets separated from y'all. That will help get him back to you safely.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)